Moore Kean On Stewart

Allan Moore has today signed former St. Mirren striker Stewart Kean.

The 27-year-old, who also played with Ayr United and, most recently, Queen of the South, has signed for Morton, according to today's Greenock Telegraph.

Kean started his career in the junior ranks with Craigmark Burtonians. He then moved to Ayr United, where he caught the eye and secured a £20,000 transfer to St. Mirren. In his time at Love Street, Kean scored 26 goals, including 12 in the Buddies' 2005/06 promotion season.

He was released by the Saints in the summer of 2008 and subsequently signed for Queen of he South, where he spent two seasons - he actually scored against Morton last season (pictured, below) - before he was released this summer.

Kean is Moore's fifth summer signing after he completed deals for Marc Smyth and Graeme Holmes yesterday.

Greenock Telegraph - New Boy Kean To Get Started (29.06.2010)

Evening Times - Ton Hit By Pete Injury Hold Up (29.06.2010)

Weatherson Not Over Injury

Peter Weatherson has missed the first week of pre-season training after the pelvic injury he was carrying towards the end of last season failed to clear up over the summer.

The 30-year-old suffered from an inflamed pubic bone - osteitis pubis - and a related abductor strain for much of last season but put off an operation to try and play his part in the team's relegation battle. However, towards the end of the season it was obvious that he could no longer continue and he sat out the last two games against Ross County and Ayr United.

Originally, the plan was for Peter to have an operation to correct the problem, but he was then told that rest was the cure. But this has not worked as hoped and Weatherson has missed the first week of pre-season training, according to the Greenock Telegraph's Chris Tait.

"The rest I was told to do hasn't really worked as well as we all thought it would," Weatherson told Tait. "I've been going to see the physio Paul Kelly every day and we're going to see the specialist again to see if he can determine if there is anything else wrong.

"The initial problem hasn't really deteriorated, so I'll maybe miss the first week of pre-season training."

Greenock Telegraph - Pete Sits Out Pre-Season Start (24.05.2010)


McMillan Was Ton Target

At the end of last season, Largs Thistle's star man, Ross McMillan, was rumoured to be a Morton signing target. This has now been confirmed - but on the day that he signed for Clyde.

Ross had a tremendous season with Largs as they got to the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup Final, thanks, largely, to Ross's goals in the quarter-final replay versus Irvine Meadow XI and the 1st leg of the semi-final against Clydebank.

And his outstanding performances had grabbed the attention of James Grady who appeared on BBC radio show Beyond the SPL and mentioned that he would never turn his nose up at junior players and was looking to sign two junior players for Morton for next season if he was still in charge.

It has now emerged that 27-year-old McMillan (pictured: in the violet strip) was one of these players. "Stuart Millar contacted Largs to say that Clyde were interested and the manager passed on the news," McMillan told Clyde's official website. "I then met with him to discuss the move. Morton also wanted me to come up and do a pre-season but at the time it wasn’t right for me so I knocked it back and came up to Clyde. I liked what I saw when Stuart showed me around the club and the stadium."

However, I have heard suggestions that Morton were in contact with the big defender but failed to get back in touch after their initial approach - possibly due to the fact Grady was no longer in charge.

McMillan also had a trial with Morton a few seasons back when Jim McInally was manager after being recommended by Craig Black. Apparently he played in a reserve game (against Alloa, I think) and didn't really stand out after he was given a bit of a tough time by their striker - possibly Graeme Brown.

Having seen McMillan play on a few occasions over the last couple of years, for both Greenock Juniors and Largs Thistle, I have no doubt he should be playing at a higher level and that Clyde is probably the best move for him. It's not too far to travel; he will not have to leave his day job to play with the Bully Wee, who are part-time; they are a decent sized club for the third division and it's not as big a jump in terms of standard of play as it would've been if he'd went straight from Largs to Morton.

clydefc.co.uk - McMillan and Dingwall Sign (26.06.2010)


Information Request

Highland League historian and Buckie Thistle fan Easton Thain has been in touch with me recently and has asked for help to find some information on Morton matches for his personal records.

Easton is looking for the following info:

Scottish Cup Games

29th Jan 1912 vs. Clachnacuddin - both teams required
22nd Jan 1938 vs. Peterhead - both teams
28th Jan 1950 at Ross County - both teams
22nd Oct 1955 vs. Clachnacuddin - both teams


15th Apr 1966 vs. Ross County - Morton team
20th May 1967 away to Inverness Select - Both teams and all the scorers
19th May 1968 at Elgin City - both teams
3rd May 1971 at Elgin City - Morton team and their scorers
3rd Aug 1985 vs. Forfar at the Keith FC tournament - teams
25th July 1992 vs. St Mirren at the Deveronvale FC tournament - teams
26th July 1992 vs. Deveronvale at the Deveronvale FC tournament - teams and scorers

Texaco/ Anglo-Scottish Cup

14th Sep 1970 vs. West Brom - Teams and West Brom scorer
30th Sep 1970 at West Brom - Teams
21st Oct 1970 vs. Wolves - Teams and scorers
3rd Nov 1970 at Wolves - Teams and scorers
14th Sep 1971 at Huddersfield Town - Teams and scorers
29th Sep 1971 vs. Huddersfield Town - Teams and scorers
19th Sep 1973 vs. Newcastle United - Teams and scorers
1st oct 1973 at Newcastle United - Teams and scorers
6th Nov 1979 at Bristol City - Teams and scorers
5th Aug 1980 vs. Falkirk - Teams and scorers
16th Sep 1980 at Notts County - Teams and scorers
30th Sep 1980 vs. Notts County - Teams and scorers

Drybrough Cup

July 1980 - all details versus Albion Rovers and Aberdeen

If anyone can help, please get in touch by emailing me at jonathan_mitchell_1982@hotmail.com


Kelbie Couldn't Turn Down Ton Move

New Morton signing Kevin Kelbie has revealed that he rejected offers to stay in Northern Ireland because Morton was too big an opportunity to turn down.

"It is a full-time club aiming for the SPL, so it is a chance for me to show what I can do at that level," Kelbie told the Irish Mirror's Darren Fullerton in a candid interview in which he slams Roy Walker - the manager of his previous team, Ballymena United.

"I did speak with Marty Quinn [Glenavon's manager] and there was interest from Portadown, but Morton was too big an opportunity to turn down," he added.

Irish Mirror - Kevin And Hell For Kel


Ton Open Season At Home To Stirling

The SFL have today released the fixture list for season 2010/11 - and Morton start with a home fixture against Allan Moore's former club, Stirling Albion.

And the Forthbank side are our opposition for three of the dates that most fans look at on their first inspection of the fixture list. As well as the opening day, we also travel to face the Binos on Boxing Day and the final day of the season.

The only scheduled midweek match sees us visit newly promoted Cowdenbeath on Tuesday, March 22.

gmfc.net - Fixtures and Results 2010/11


MacGregor Invited To Pre-Season Training

Morton's longest serving player, David MacGregor, could be handed a new deal if he proves his fitness during pre-season training.

The 29-year-old, whose contract expired last month, has been invited to train with the team over the summer in a bid to prove he is over the injury problems that have plagued his Ton career.

"I spoke to the manager and he said I could come in for pre-season and prove my fitness, so at the moment he's not offered me anything," MacGregor told the Greenock Telegraph's Chris Tait. "I'm feeling fit and strong just now and I'm working hard through the summer to be ready for the start of pre-season. I'm sure my fitness won't be an issue so it's up to him."

Greenock Telegraph - MacGregor: I'll Show I'm Worth Deal (11.06.2010)


Ton Travel South

Morton have confirmed renewed plans for a mini-tour in the north of England.

The club had originally planned to travel south but changed their mind when they could not find clubs willing, or able, to play fixtures on dates that suited the Cappielow club, so Douglas Rae announced they would be going to the Highlands instead.

However, Gateshead announced a July friendly with the Ton the day after Rae's statement, and the official club website has since confirmed that the England trip is back on and we will now face Blyth Spartans at Croft Park (pictured) on Tuesday, July 13.

According to the Blyth Spartans official website, gates prices are: £5 adults, £2 concessions.

The gmfc.net post also confirms that the Renfrewshire Cup semi-final match versus Moorcroft will be played on Tuesday, July 20.

gmfc.net - Pre-season Games (07.06.2010)

blythspartansafc.co.uk - Discount Tickets - Greenock Morton Friendly (08.06.2010)


Russell Rejects New Deal

Iain Russell has rejected Allan Moore's offer of a one-year contract extension to sign for Livingston.

The 27-year-old striker, who Jim McInally signed from Brechin City for £40,000 in August 2007, decided to sign for the 3rd Division Champions because they offered him extra security with a two-year deal.

I can't say I'm disappointed to see Russell leave. Initially, I thought he would be an excellent signing but after three seasons his performances were not convincing enough to cement a place in the starting XI.

Iain is one of those players who can score a barrowload at Second Division level but struggles against the stronger, more experienced defenders you find in the First Division.

livingstonfc.co.uk - Russell Becomes Second Summer Signing (10.06.2010)

gmfc.net - Iain Russell (10.06.2010)


McNally Appointed Assistant

Former Celtic and Dundee United defender Mark McNally has been appointed as Allan Moore's assistant manager at Morton.

The 39-year-old (pictured: dispossessing Chris Templeman in 2007), who played for and then assisted Moore at Stirling during a six-year spell at Forthbank, has also signed a 3-year deal.

“I am delighted," McNally is quoted as saying on the club's official website. "When I was with Stirling Albion, I played against Morton many times. The club has a big fanbase, the stadium was improving every time we came down and the chairman is ambitious.”

gmfc.net - Mark McNally (09.06.2010)


Winging His Way To Greenock

Former Stirling Albion and Dundee left-winger David O'Brien has completed his move to Morton.

The 26-year-old, who has signed a two-year deal, follows new Ton manager Allan Moore from Forthbank to Cappielow.

O'Brien will be a direct replacement for the recently departed Jim McAlister. And the capture should help add balance to the team; he is naturally left-footed so will stay out wide rather than cutting in, like Jim did, and get to the by-line and deliver the crosses that Moore has outlined as an integral feature of his team's playing style.

gmfc.net - Player News (07.06.2010)


Change Of Plans?

Further doubt has been cast on Morton's pre-season plans after Gateshead announced that they play the Ton in a pre-season friendly at the Gateshead International Stadium on Thursday, 15 July.

As recently as Friday, Douglas Rae was quoted as saying that they had given up on a tour of the north of England and would be travelling to the Highlands instead. "We were planning to go to the north of England but the teams wanted to play us later than we could take the games," he told the Greenock Telegraph's Martin Greig. "It's a few years since we have been to the north of Scotland so we are now looking at taking the boys there and getting a couple of games against the better Highland League opposition."

However, the Gateshead announcement would suggest that there may have been another change of plans.

The match will see the Ton come up against a familiar face in former striker Brian Wake, who left the club half-way through last season.

gateshead-fc.com - Gateshead To Face Scots (05.06.2010)

Greenock Telegraph - Ton Head North For Pre-Season (04.06.2010)


Pre-Season Tour Plans

Morton will travel north to take on Highland League opposition in a couple of pre-season friendlies next month, according to Douglas Rae in today's Greenock Telegraph.

And although the opponents have not yet been announced, I have been informed that 2009/10 champions Buckie Thistle, who faced Morton twice in tours in preparation for seasons 2003/04 (pictured: Mel Bottiglieri takes a rest after scoring in the 1-1 draw) and 2004/05, are not likely to be one of them.

I'm thrilled with the news as I have family in Inverness and had already arranged to travel up to visit them in the middle of July.

Last season, my brother Brett was playing with Strathspey Thistle and actually scored their first ever goal in senior football and my youngest brother, Elliott, is currently playing for Nairn County's under-19s, so I'd be delighted if we played Strathspey or Nairn, although I'm not sure how much of a test they'd be.

There has also been talk of a friendly with Brechin City at Glebe Park on Tuesday, July 13. However, this date has only been mentioned in the Brechin Adverstiser and has not been confirmed by Brechin, Morton or the SFA.

Greenock Telegraph - Ton Head North For Pre-Season (04.06.2010)

Morton Online - JonaTon's Highland Adventure (21.07.2003)

Brechin Advertiser - Jamie To Become A Red Man As Weir Makes First Signing (31.05.2010)


In The Name Of The Father

Former Dundee United, Airdrie and Dunfermline midfielder Graeme Holmes looks set to follow in his father Jim's footsteps and sign for Morton.

Graeme (pictured, left and below: injured at Cappielow in 2008/09) was released by the Pars at the end of last season and, according to the Greenock Telegraph's Martin Greig, the 26-year-old is a signing target for Allan Moore.

Jim Holmes signed for Morton in 1976 and spent the next 12 years as Morton's first choice left-back before moving to Falkirk for £10,000 in 1988. In his spell at Cappielow, he was voted SPFA 1st Division Player of the Year for season 1986/87 and made 517 appearances - a total that puts him third in the list of players with the most appearances for the club. Only Derek Collins and David Wylie have played more.

However, Graeme would not be the second person in the family to ply his trade with the club; Alex Walker is Jim's nephew and played with the club for five seasons before he was released last month.

Greenock Telegraph - I Hope I Can Be As Good As My Father (03.06.2010)


Kelbie and Stewart Sign, Smyth To Come

Morton have completed the signing of Kevin Kelbie on an 18-month deal and Colin Stewart has signed a one year extension, according to Martin Greig in today's Greenock Telegraph.

Kelbie, who actually played against Morton for Alloa in 2003, signs after spending five seasons in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Sun's Paul Hughes has claimed that out-of-contract Airdrie United defender Marc Smyth (pictured) is Allan Moore's first signing as Morton manager - a deal I heard was already completed as long ago as March, which I posted about.

However, the Tele's Martin Greig has quoted Douglas Rae as saying the deal is not yet complete: "Smyth hasn't signed yet but we have had our eye on him for a while and am waiting to hear back from him, so the likliehood is he will be coming."

Scottish Sun - Smyth Off To Ton (02.06.2010)

Greenock Telegraph - New Signing Is Going For The Kel (02.06.2010)

Greenock Telegraph - Ton Closing In On Smyth Signing (02.06.2010)


Kelbie Set For Scots Return With Ton

Allan Moore is set to swoop for 25-year-old striker Kevin Kelbie on an 18 month deal, according to the BBC website.

Although he is Scottish, Kelbie, whose contract expired last month, has spent most of his career playing in the Northern Irish Premier League with Ballymena United.

Kelbie initially moved to Belfast for work but was forced to return to Scotland to live in 2008. This meant that he would fly over for matches on a Saturday - but would train with Stirling Albion during the week. And, according to an article in last month's Daily Mirror, Moore was trying to sign Kelbie for Stirling Albion.

I am a keen follower of the Northern Irish League and although I have only seen Kelbie play once, I do know that he is well thought of across the Irish Sea and regularly finishes in the list of top scorers each season.

Last season, Kevin finished joint 8th top scorer with 16 goals (11 league and five Irish Cup) even though his team, Ballymena, are a small provincial side who finished third bottom of the table.

Kelbie started his career with Celtic and then had a season with Rangers before joining Alloa, where he played a handful of games in the Second Division in season 2003/04. From there, he moved to Belfast with Glentoran, but he failed to even complete a season in East Belfast before joining mid-Ulster side Ballymena.

Kevin spent the next five seasons at the Ballymena Showgrounds, finishing top scorer in four out of the five seasons.

bbc.co.uk - Ex-Ballymena Striker Set For Ton Move (01.06.2010)

Daily Mirror - Quinn Plans Kelbie Talks (07.05.2010)